September 16th, 2010
02:59 PM ET

New FAA rules could give airline pilots more rest time

The House Aviation Subcommittee heard statements Thursday from pilot and air-industry representatives as part of a push to improve rules on flight time for pilots, including duty and rest requirements.

The Pilot Flight and Duty Time Rule currently under consideration would consolidate current rest requirements, which vary depending on whether the flight is domestic, international, or unscheduled (as with charter flights). The proposal would provide for a nine-hour minimum rest period prior to duty, a one-hour increase over current rules.

Cumulative fatigue would also be addressed. New limits would be established and downtime increased where current rules apply.

The proposal, according to Margaret Gilligan, the associate administrator for aviation safety with the Federal Aviation Administration, would provide "a single, scientifically based regulatory approach" to fatigue mitigation. She said she believes the new rules have "the potential to provide a cooperative and flexible means of monitoring and mitigating fatigue during operations."

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soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. John

    Spin Spin spin. A huge give back to the airline industry. Babbitt and Gilligan should be ashamed of themselves. Pilots will be flying more and this does nothing really to address fatigue at all. Shame.

    September 16, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot&Passenger

      The next time you get on a commercial aircraft and see the pilot or first officer yawning, give me a call and I'll remind you of your post.

      September 16, 2010 at 8:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Josh

    When is the government going to address the disgusting pay that pilots face? When can we drop the illusion that pilots are paid more than $12,000 a year?

    September 16, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pilot&Passenger

      I agree with you that many pilots do, indeed, earn very little money but, and I speak of friends who are captains with major airlines, there are many who make $100k or more.

      And, before anyone yells that commercial pilots are overpaid, I would remind them of Captain Sullivan who landed an engines-out airliner in the Hudson River without a single serious injury to any passenger.

      September 16, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Plowgirl

    The feds have all the US power plants under this fatigue rule and it is a tracking nightmare. People who want to workovertime can't and those who don't are being forced. Union contracts and being violated and morale is troublesome at so plants. There violations of the rule but so far the NRC hasn't fined anyone for violating the rule.

    September 16, 2010 at 10:44 pm | Report abuse |